Beef producers from across Queensland’s Darling Downs region have taken out the top awards at the 2019 Meat Standards Australia (MSA) Excellence in Eating Quality Awards for the State, presented at Biloela.
Hosted by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA), the Awards recognise beef producers who have achieved outstanding compliance rates to MSA specifications, as well as high eating quality performance, as represented by MSA Index results for MSA graded cattle during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years.
Kerwee Feedlot, Jondaryan, was awarded Most Outstanding MSA Feedlot in Queensland. During 2017-19, 62% of all cattle consigned to MSA from Queensland were classified as grainfed.
Cattle from feedlots accredited under the National Feedlot Accreditation Scheme (NFAS) and that were eligible for Australian Grainfed Standards were included in this award category.
Brownleigh Pastoral Company, Goondiwindi, owned and operated by the Burey family, won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 1), which recognises producers turning off large MSA consignment volumes from any non-feedlot operation.
Kaylene Wonka, ‘Blue Poles’, Chinchilla, won Most Outstanding MSA Beef Producer (Band 2), which recognises producers turning off smaller MSA consignment volumes from any non-feedlot accredited operation.
RMI Pty Ltd, Goondiwindi, won the MSA Progress Award for showing the greatest improvement in their MSA results since the last Awards series in 2017.
MSA Program Manager Sarah Strachan said producers were to be congratulated for their commitment to producing beef that consistently achieves exceptional compliance rates to MSA’s strict specifications and delivers a superior eating experience to consumers, particularly in the face of ongoing challenging seasonal conditions.
“MSA-registered producers receive ongoing feedback on their livestock, accessible through myMSA, to help them continuously improve the performance of their cattle and eating quality. All of the winners and finalists are taking notice of that feedback to achieve results,” Ms Strachan.
“All of the winners and finalists are taking notice of that feedback to achieve results.
“myMSA also offers producers the ability to benchmark their performance against other producers in the State and use tools to calculate how they can improve their MSA Index by making on-farm changes.
“Brownleigh Pastoral Company and Kaylene Wonka won their awards from a field comprising 3,000 registered producers in Queensland who consigned cattle during 2017-19.
“Throughout Australia, more than 15,000 producers consigned over 6.6 million cattle to the MSA program throughout the 2017-18 and 2018-19 period.”
To be eligible for the awards, a producer’s annual MSA-graded volume had to be equal to or above the average volume consigned for the state in which they were produced, and had to consign at least once in each financial year.
Each producer that met the eligibility criteria received a score out of 100 weighted on two factors – the compliance to MSA minimum requirements, and eating quality performance as determined by the MSA Index for cattle consigned to MSA in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 financial years.
The Awards aim to raise awareness of best management practice from producers who consistently deliver superior eating quality beef in their state ultimately for the benefit of consumers and for the profitability of the industry.
MSA was developed by the Australian red meat industry to improve eating quality consistency. The system is based on almost 800,000 consumer taste tests and takes into account all factors that affect eating quality from the paddock to the plate.
To find out more information about the MSA Program visit: https://www.mla.com.au/msa
MSA producers can access their carcase feedback at www.mymsa.com.au